When your in the thick of motherhood it’s hard to imagine what its like when you send your kiddo off to college. I remember I couldn’t wait until my nugget turned 1 years old, now I’m crying over every day that passes. Mama Heidi puts everything in perspective, and this is a must read to every mom that has a little one and she tells her story but also gives us her thoughts and advice.
Read her journey in her words:
Sending my first born off to college in exactly two weeks is such a great time to reflect on motherhood.
When Isaac was born 18 years ago, my husband and I were thinking it would be “fun” if we just “got pregnant”. After all, we just purchased our first house, had been married for 2 years, and were just so grown up at 22 years old. (that song from Taylor Swift is now singing in my head. Her version of being 22 is WAY different then mine was!).
So sure enough, we were pregnant and so excited. After being induced, little Isaac arrived 23 hours later and the next morning Ryan was holding Isaac and crying. I thought, “Oh goodness, he’s so in love and so excited to be a dad!”. and he said, “I am so scared, what are we going to do?!”. I remember calling the nurse while in the hospital to tell her that Isaac had pooped and needed changing. She said, “Honey, that’s your job now”. Needless to say, we were a little in shock.
Abbey came two years later just like a dream. On her due date, I was dilated to a seven, when I arrived at the hospital. She was born 2 hours later with one push and I snuggled her on my chest all night with the most amazing feeling of love and shock that we got a girl! She was like an angel, and I just kept breathing in this beautiful new life. I am pretty sure i didn’t sleep a wink that night.
Miss Anna arrived five years after Abbey, after being on fertility drugs and feeling so devastated that we would never get a third baby. EVERYONE was pregnant around us and having no trouble. It was really hard and real. I understand how painful and lonely it is to ache for something so badly, feeling like it was never going to happen.
Well, it happened and she was born and was VERY different from her sister. I had to stand up and bounce her all night in the hospital room. When babies usually sleep. She cried and was so active. I knew we were in for it. This girl has energy! At age 10, this story fits her perfectly.
*You get what you get. They just come out with THESE personalities.
Isaac always had this fear of new things as a baby… getting water in his eyes during bath time, swimming, learning to ride a bike, potty training. As a teenager, this sure has stayed a theme, but the amazing thing is knowing him so well and being able to point this out when he is in pain, or afraid is a gift. Knowing our kids unlike anyone else does is such a privilege.
*Abbey is a true middle child, now age 16, has always been a peacemaker. Stuck in the middle of two intense siblings, with her observing, has given her an amazing perspective on the world.
*My little Anna has always “needed my eyes”. And once I realized that it was a relief. She always has so much to say, and I am always so busy. But I realized that if I just stop and actually look at her when she has something to tell me, she is full. Her little spirit just lights up. And all it takes is my eyes.
*Your heart is truly walking around out there. When they hurt, we hurt. When they celebrate, we do too. It’s something that I was never prepared for or could even understand the depths that can take you. I have cried so many tears when they feel rejection and left out, but some of those hard times are our most connected times.
* It really does go fast. I wanted to punch those people that would tell me that when I was at the grocery store with all three of them wanting to scream and the sweet lady would just smile and say “honey, it goes so fast. Treasure it.” I just didn’t understand. But NOW I do. My friend says that once they get a backpack on and head to school, that’s when it starts moving. Those first few years didn’t go fast for me, so you won’t hear me say that to you when they are under 5. ha! But after that, it picks up the pace.
*I think mother’s instincts are always right. Learning to stop and listen and trust ME is huge.
Taking time for myself is important. I was raised by a sweet mom who always put herself last. And seeing that has made me realize our kids need us to be our best, refreshed, and alive and that doesn’t happen when we take care of ourselves last.
*Treasuring as many moments as I can and working so hard on being present is where life truly is. If only I can remember that in the chaos. Yesterday is gone…. It doesn’t’ exist, and tomorrow is only our imagination.
Today is it. So living it, listening, and being present is the best thing we can do for our families and us! And in that gratefulness. When we are grateful, we cannot be afraid. Worries cannot be in the same room with gratefulness. So in the middle of the night, when I cannot sleep because of worry, I start making a list of things I am grateful for and THEN I can fall asleep.
Now that you are sending your child off to college, what fears and hopes do you have?
I have so many more hopes than fears. It feels so similar to the 9 months we carry our babies nervous and unsure and then are so ready for them to be born. It’s been 18 years of teaching, modeling, watching, and loving that it feels so right to send him on this new adventure. He is so ready and I think that helps a mama’s heart so much. Of course I will worry about him for the rest of my life. And pray he doesn’t get TOO hurt, or make TOO many mistakes, or make friends with THAT person. But I have so much peace that the man he is now is ready to change the world. He has the most tender heart and I can’t wait to hear all about his life outside of these 4 walls.
If you could describe motherhood, how would you describe it?
Great question. I would describe motherhood as the hardest, most beautiful thing someone can do. It teaches so much about yourself and demonstrates unconditional love like no other. They love me no matter what. I love them no matter what. Amazing.
What is one thing you wish you did more?
Always I wish I decided not to mop the floors and play more. I am not even saying play with the kids more, but simply PLAY. Brene Brown, one of my favorite authors, talks about cultivating the art of play and rest more into our lives. She talks about how each night when we go to bed the to-do list is never done no matter how hard we try and in that, remembering that we are enough. I look back and see I was so driven by my to-do list. And so when I look back I want to say to myself, “just play, I promise you won’t remember that day you decided to mop the floor or clean the toilets.”
Being a young mom, what lessons did you learn early on?
I didn’t really learn this early on, but I did learn a valuable thought from a line in a book called Brainstorm. It’s a book on the adolescent brain and in the introduction the authors says, “Let them be who they are”. I was so in awe of that one line that I put it down and just rested on that. It’s so freeing.
Also, on a side note, have you read Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle? A must read. She is amazing and has the best reflections and thoughts on motherhood. She will set you free of so much. And being set free from the things that weigh us down is my favorite!
How would your kids describe you as a mother?
Oh goodness….. probably as a hard worker, someone who loves food and values the art of the meal, someone who will do anything for her kids, as a mom who likes a clean house, as a mom who needs to get away from the house so I can actually BE with them, as a mom who loves camping, wine, sitting on the back deck, being near water, and watching so you think you can dance with my family.
Now that you have told the Mother Effin Truth, who do you want to nominate to tell their story as a mother? And why?
I nominate Darcy Mcmurray. She is a amazing!